A self-described “prepper” has revealed how she feeds her family of five, despite not having made a “big purchase” in four years.
Natasha Gahagan, 31, had always dreamed of owning her own home and convinced her husband, Dennis, 42, to move from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, to a seven-acre farm on the outskirts of town.
The couple moved in with their two children, aged four and two (and Dennis’s son, 21), and now grow all their own fruit and vegetables, as well as raising chickens and goats.
Natasha and Dennis, who work in gardening, haven’t been to a supermarket for a big grocery store in four years, but they still have enough meals prepared to feed their large family for a year.
Natasha goes to the stores once a year to pick up some basic wholesale supplies, like beans and flour.
Natasha and Dennis Gahagan (pictured with their children) haven’t done a big grocery store in four years and still manage to feed their family of five
In their basement they preserve food for a year, as well as prepared dishes that can be heated in five minutes.
Natasha, a farmer and part-time dental assistant, who now lives near Milwaukee, said: “Living off the land was a dream of mine. I loved being outdoors and had always dreamed of living off the grid.
‘We don’t really go to the supermarket. We try to achieve it. You appreciate what you have more.’
Natasha always wanted to “live off the land” and began growing what she could in her garden in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
But when the family found land they could afford, they jumped at the opportunity and moved to the countryside in January 2015.
The family has had a wide variety of animals living on the farm, from cows, ducks and peacocks, but currently has goats, chickens and geese.
Natasha uses the goat’s milk for the family to drink and makes soap to sell and says they have “fallen in love” with their goats.
She says the family tries to grow something new every year.
The family has had a wide variety of animals living on the farm, including goats (pictured), chickens and geese.
The family has a great growing season, enjoying tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.
They also have a large storage basement so they are always stocked and don’t need to visit the stores.
Natasha said she always wanted to live in a big city and moved to a seven-acre farm outside the city in Winconsin.
Natasha says the family “fell in love” with the goats after adopting them. In the photo of her with her children
They make homemade bread with the abundant broth from the winery. Natasha said the family also buys in bulk.
‘We don’t have a great growing season. We grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, garlic, onions and mushrooms,” he explained.
‘We have an orchard and produce apples, pears, plums and blackberries. We don’t grow things we won’t eat.
To preserve their food they use methods such as canning and freeze-drying, and they have a stocked cellar in their home.
Natasha added: “We could live on it for over a year as we have 200 pounds of flour stored.”
The sustainable mom also has a freeze dryer full of meals she’s already prepared, ready for her busiest periods in spring and summer.
“I’m keeping it for convenience,” he revealed. “I save a lot of things for the summer when I’m busy.”
Natasha Gahagan convinced her husband Dennis, 42, to move from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, US, to a seven-acre farm on the outskirts of town (pictured).
They grow apples, pears, plums and blackberries in the farm’s orchard, focusing on sustainable practices.
Natasha says the family doesn’t grow anything they don’t want to eat. In the photo: fresh eggs on her farm.
The family has a wide variety of animals on the farm, which helps them be as sustainable as possible.
Natasha hopes to be as sustainable as possible, sourcing her meat from farmers and relying as little as possible on supermarkets.
They only visit once a year to stock up on supplies they can’t grow or treats like maple syrup and bananas.
“We do a lot of bulk purchasing,” he said. ‘There’s a lot to learn all the time, that’s the fun. It’s a dream.
‘The city is not for me. I love my home.’
Like Natasha, many in the UK are also looking to grow their own food to combat the cost of living crisis.